Real IRA killer gets life for murder of gangster Kelly
a Dublin man has been jailed for life by the Special Criminal Court for the Real IRA murder of veteran criminal Eamon Kelly, who was shot four times in the back outside his home on the city's northside over two years ago.
Sean Connolly (35), of Bernard Curtis House, Bluebell, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to murdering Kelly at Furry Park Road, Killester, on December 4, 2012.
The court heard that Connolly was arrested a short time after he shot Kelly as he returned home from the Ladbrokes betting shop in Killester.
Det Gda Aine Ni Chathain of the Special Detective Unit arrested Connolly as he walked towards the entrance of Clontarf Castle 20 minutes after the shooting.
The court heard that firearms residue on Connolly matched eight spent 9mm cartridges found at the murder scene.
It was also told that accelerant found on his shoes matched that used to burn out a black Lexus car used in the killing and that Connolly made admissions to gardai after his arrest in which he admitted his part in the murder.
Det Insp Paul Scott, the senior investigating officer, said gardai had warned Kelly his life was in danger after an unsuccessful attempt to shoot him in 2012 failed when the gun jammed.
"We were satisfied from the investigation that this was a highly professional operation that was carried out by the IRA," he said.
Det Insp Scott said Kelly (65) had cracked some ribs in a fall at his home a couple of weeks before the murder and his mobility was impaired.
Witnesses saw him trying to run away from the gunman and towards his house before he was shot in the back.
Det Insp Scott said three of the four bullets that hit Kelly exited through his body and the fourth was found in his body at post mortem.
The shots had caused damage to his vital organs.
Kelly's daughter, Alison, who gave a victim impact statement to the court, said the senseless murder of her father had caused pain and suffering to all her family.
"He was my closest confidant, my friend and my father," she said.
"He lived for his family but his murder has destroyed our lives."
Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding at the three-judge non-jury court, said that the murder was "a most heinous crime" and the court was not in a position to do anything about sentencing as the sentence was mandatory.
The court sentenced Connolly to life imprisonment.